Adobe began shipping Creative Suite 5, the latest version of its multimedia design applications, on Friday. Several versions of the suite are available that include applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.
The new versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Extended add Content Aware Fill to remove objects from images and automatically rebuild the area behind the cut area, Puppet Warp to articulation points to objects in images and intelligently move and reshape them, and an in-application Adobe Bridge media management panel. The noise and luminance reduction tools have been improved, too, offering substantially better detail preservation, and the HDR image editing tools offer an improved interface, user configurable presets, and the ability to remove ghosting effects from images.
Masking has been improved in Photoshop CS5 as well, offering better and more sophisticated edge detection and editing. Vector objects can now be converted into 3D objects, and several object presets are included. CS5 also added a new Mixer brush that lets users turn their photos into digital paintings.
One of Illustrator CS5’s most noticeable improvements is its new Perspective Grid tool. Perspective Grid lets users build a framework for three dimensional perspective in their layouts that automatically apply the appropriate perspective to objects that are drawn on or added to the frame. When the perspective grid is moved or changed, the perspective of the objects on the framework automatically adjust to match the new grid shape.
The update also added support for variable stroke widths, improved the shape builder tool, added resolution independent effects, and offers an artboard management panel.
InDesign CS5’s new features lean more towards cross-media support. The new version offers improved support for adding Flash content and audio files to layouts, lets users create layouts that offer complex interactivity, and includes individual page resizing tools. The update also improved ePub file support, and makes it easier to export content to the SWF format.
The new version of Dreamweaver offers improved tools for working with WordPress and PHP-based content management platforms. Users can now more easily import, design and test WordPress designs, and the application includes to make site management easier. Dreamweaver’s Live View feature lets users preview their sites with real content and dynamic interactivity, too.
The Creative Suite applications all offer tighter integration with Flash CS5 and the Flash authoring applications including Flash Builder, Flash Professional and Flash Catalyst.
Adobe Flash Builder 4, formerly known as Adobe Flex Builder, is Adobe’s IDE to help developers create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) based on the Flash platform. It is based on the open source Flex framework, adds new data-focused development tools, drag-and-drop support for linking processes to interface elements, and more.
Adobe Flash Catalyst lets designers use the artwork they create in Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop to build Flash application interfaces and then hand them off to developers. Designers can also use the tool to publish SWF files that can be viewed in a Web browser.
The Creative Suite applications are still available in several different bundles.
- Design Standard Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat 9 for US$1,299. Upgrades are priced at $499.
- Design Premium Photoshop Extended, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat 9 Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Flash Catalyst, Fireworks for US$1,899. Upgrades are priced at $599.
- Web Premium Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Acrobat 9 Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash Builder 4 Standard, Flash Professional, Flash Catalyst, Fireworks, Contribute for US$1,799. Upgrades are priced at $599.
- Production Premium Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Soundbooth, OnLocation, Encore for $1,699. Upgrades cost $599.
- Master Collection All Creative Suite 5 applications with Photoshop Extended instead of the standard version of Photoshop for $2,599. Upgrades are priced at $899.